Bench Memos

Instead of Pres. Obama’s Nobel Acceptance,

I’d rather watch Justice Clarence Thomas give a speech about the greatness of Abraham Lincoln.  Fortunately, Justice Thomas gave a wonderful speech on just that subject two weeks ago at Washington and Lee University–and in the Lee Chapel no less.  (Think about that: Justice Thomas praising President Lincoln in a chapel named for General Lee in Virginia.  A nice moment.)

I was there for the speech, which was truly riveting, and kicked off a superb conference devoted to Lincoln, with panels the next day featuring distinguished Lincoln scholars.  It was all organized by Professor Lucas Morel of Washington and Lee.  To my friend Lucas I say, get all those excellent papers together into a book, and use Justice Thomas’s speech as the introduction.  I’d buy it!

Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

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